ASMFC Board Expands Recreational Black Sea Bass Season

The Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board has modified the 2010 season length for the black sea bass recreational fishery. The season will now run from May 22 to October 11, 2010 and from November 1 to December 31, 2010.

The season represents an extension from what was originally planned. When the original season was developed, the Board only had 2009 harvest estimates for January through June. Harvest estimates for July through December 2009 were projected using previous years’ data to calculate a total harvest estimate.

Based on these preliminary projections, the original season was developed with the intent of reducing recreational harvest by 44% from 2009 levels.

Final 2009 harvest estimates were made available at the end of April.  The estimate indicates that harvest is less than previously projected and only a 21.4% reduction is required for the 2010 recreational season.

The newly approved season is anticipated to achieve a 26% reduction and allows for a reasonable conservation buffer to account for uncertainty in the harvest estimates and the effectiveness of regulations.

The season was further expanded into November and December to allow for increased access by party/charter boats and private boat/shore-based anglers that did not have a late fall/early winter season last year.

For more information, please contact Toni Kerns, Senior Fishery Management Plan Coordinator for Management, at or (202) 289-6400.

source: ASMFC press release